The San Francisco 49ers have made a habit in the NFL Draft of taking players they don’t need but can use thanks to the plethora of picks they’re usually gifted with. They landed LaMichael James form Oregon this way but he may be running out of time with the Niners to prove he’s a useful tool.
While he’s carved out a place for him in the return game and certain situational schemes, James hasn’t really emerged as the Darren Sproles type player the Niners need him to be and that could lead to an exit after 2014 for the running back.
I’m not sure what James’ market is going to be. At this point, the 49ers want to see if their 2012 second-round pick can help them or not. If James doesn’t make an impact on offense this year, the 49ers could be ready to move on.
There’s a chance he blossoms in 2014 into a true impact threat, as he has the skills, but nothing is certain. He’s not a lost cause by any means, but it appears that Marcus Lattimore is being groomed to start taking over for Frank Fore and the Niners seemingly never have a shortage of running backs. James needs to stand out in 2014 to keep his job in San Francisco or he could be back to square one in 2015 with someone else.